The Diamond Jubilee – A Quiet Reflection
You can’t have missed the fact that the Poms have been out in the dismal London rain (I believe they call it “summer”) celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year. And if there’s one thing the Poms know how to do – it’s pomp and ceremony.
But all that celebrating got me to thinking. What would our world look like if those of us who are subjects of the King of Kings, celebrated Him, the way the British are celebrating their Queen?
What is it About Royalty?
Whether one is a monarchist or a republican, you have to hand it to Her Majesty – she has executed her office so faithfully over so many years. And at a time when those living in the United Kingdom and across the wider Europe have so little to celebrate, there’s literally been dancing in the streets!
What is it about the Queen that elicits such a response? Why is this such a big deal in the psyche not just of the British, but much of the rest of the world?
A Personal Experience
I remember when I was training to be an Army Officer at the Royal Military College Duntroon – the Queen came and reviewed our parade. Every military unit has what they call “colours” – banners – the regimental colour and the Queen’s colour. During a parade, whoever its the most senior reviewing officer is given a “General Salute” when the soldiers present arms and the colours are lowered.
Now whilst the Regimental Colour can be lowered to the ground for a reviewing officer above a certain rank, the Queen’s Colour is only ever lowered to the ground for one person – the Queen herself. Not even the Governor General will have the colours lowered to the ground for him or her.
It’s a powerful symbol of Sovereign loyalty and to this day – even though I’m a republican at heart – that day when we were reviewed by the Queen and the Queen’s Colour was lowered to the ground, remains one of the most spine tingling and memorable days of my life.
What’s that about?!
A Desire to Worship
I’ve thought a lot about that, and I think that there’s something in us that wants to bow down to someone or something greater than ourselves. It speaks of a desire to worship. It’s been around since humanity happened on this earth. And in my mind it is evidence in itself, that far from having evolved out of the amoebic primeval slime, a Creator breathed life into us.
As I watched the pomp and pageantry on my TV screen, I couldn’t help but wonder what this world would look like if God’s people worshipped Him like that. Not just once every 60 years. Not even just once on Sunday. But every day. Every moment of every day. Every breath we make and every step we take.
There was such joy on those faces that I saw interviewed down there by the River Thames – they were cold and drenched, their hair was straggly and yet they were filled with joy at having “worshipped” their Sovereign Queen. In the cold, in the wet, in the gloom of the dark cloud of financial uncertainty, there shone a bright light of joy in the hearts of many.
The Heart of Worship
And it seems to me that that’s exactly what worship does. When we bow our lives down in worship of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords – something amazing happens that completely defies our circumstances.
Worship is the most selfless act of humanity. And without doubt, it is the thing that brings the greatest joy to our hearts.
That’s why I want to weep when I see those who call themselves by His name – Christians – wasting the opportunity to worship their King. Singing songs with boredom. Living their lives in boredom.
What’s the matter with us, that we so want to squander the greatest gift God has given us – the opportunity to worship our King?!
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2:8-20)